Many things the past few months have led up to this day - the born again date!! Both our children accepted Christ as their personal Savior with their mommy and daddy by their side! So precious is today!
A few key things that I can recall...sorry for any typos or lack of details...so excited and typing fast.
In the spring, my uncle Jerry passed away of cancer. We decided to take both kids to the funeral since they knew him pretty well. This started the conversations about death and why our body is still on earth - in the coffin - but our spirit and new body leaves the earth and goes to heaven. This was a very confusing time for them but I knew their wheels were spinning.
A few months ago, a man from the soup kitchen that the kids fed there, was hospitalized for cancer and at the same time Brock's Grandfather, was given a short amount of time to live, also due to cancer. I remember giving the kids a bath and Reece asked me if they would die. And I had to say "yes" and that everyone dies. After I said it, I wanted to grab it and take it back. Both kids mouths dropped to their chin and they said "I don't want to die...am I going to die too?" I of course had to answer honestly that yes, they would die too. They both were crying and saying they didn't want to die. I reminded them of all the things we had been learning at Awana and church...that when we die we can go to heaven if we believe in Jesus...that is why he died on the cross for us. That still didn't help much and they persisted on asking if they were going to die TOMORROW. I had to tell them that I didn't know when they would die, that only God knew this.
Then we experienced a tornado in August. This along with our sick friends (Brian from the soup kitchen and great Grandpa) caused them to pray alot more. I would shut the doors to the rooms at night and I could hear them praying...praying about people being sick, to have good dreams, and to keep bad weather away from them. With death around them and upon them, they were asking more questions and more fearful of things. This was a very anxious time for them and we prayed whenever they asked or wanted.
One day last week during homeschooling, Reece was being stubborn and prideful...she was NOT going to do this one assignment even though I had told her she would be doing it. This caused me to talk about the sin and pride in her heart and explain what was going on with her. I could tell she knew that is what it was and she broke down crying over it. She asked how she could change it and I said she needed to trust Jesus and needed Him in her life to help her with that. She cried even more...like there was a weight that she needed lifted. I asked her if she believed in God and she said yes. So I asked her if she wanted Him to live in her heart and help her to do the right things. She said yes. I told her I thought we should wait until daddy got home and that way we could pray as a family. When he got home, we talked about it, but she said she didn't want to pray the prayer.
It might have been this same day/night, that when we tucked in Brody he said he wanted to pray for Grandpa. We hadn't told him how bad he was getting but we prayed for Grandpa. When we were done, I gave him a drink of water because he asked. He then said "this water is good for us. I think that if Grandma gave Grandpa some of this water, he wouldn't die". I had to explain that, that's not the way it worked unfortunately and that Grandpa would probably die very soon. But I told him we didn't have to be sad because we knew he was going to Heaven. He said "I don't want Grandpa to die because I still want to see him and I don't want Grandma to be alone...she needs a husband to take care of". This of course made me cry because he was just so sweet.
A couple of days later, their Great Grandpa Rader did pass. I waited for Brock to get home and we told them together. We again talked with them about Grandpa going to Heaven...that his body would be at the funeral like uncle Jerry but that he was actually in Heaven having a grand ol time. Brock and I were teary eyed over it and Reece said "Don't cry...he's in Heaven". I told her I knew that but was still sad for family and for grandma too.
During this time was the first week of Awana. Reece's verse that she had to memorize was John 3:16 "For God's so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have ever lasting life". We talked about what that verse meant a lot!
For a few days, there were lots of questions and good conversation. Before the funeral, the pastor took all the kids into a room and explained again what happens when we die and spoke the gospel to them. His theme or verse during the funeral was John 3:16!!! Reece heard him say it and whispered "mom, that's my sparks verse for this week". I think this made her listen even more. God's plan is perfect so this was all no surprise to me...not a coincidence!!
Last night Reece said she felt sick to her stomach and took a bowl to bed. I wasn't home so I didn't know much about it. When she woke up she told me she prayed to God that he would not let her get sick and that He answered her prayer. She said that she had prayed the longest prayer ever and that she asked Jesus to come into her heart and make her be a better person! I couldn't believe it! Brody said "I want Jesus to live in my heart too!". So we sat down and talked about what it meant to do all that and they all seemed to understand. So when daddy got home from work, we sat up on Reece's bed before nap time and all prayed the prayer together! Praise the Lord! I had been praying that this would happen all as a family because I just thought it would be such a neat memory for us. I couldn't be happier! Praying now to see fruit in their little lives. I know these two are going to do BIG things for God's glory!!
See you in Heaven Grandpa Rader!!
Taken exactly 2 weeks before he passed and 3 weeks before Reece accepted Christ: